#ETOM19 – Evaluating Distance Education: Are you ready?

ETOM Summer 2019 Retreat


JUNE 10-11, 2019

Kettunen Center – Tustin, MI
14901 4H Drive,Tustin, Michigan

Conference Files


  • There are 21 core components that are reviewed by the site reviewers.
  • Criteria for accreditation is focused on the university’s mission that is tied to: resources, teaching and learning quality/evaluation, and integrity.
    • Mission = clear and articulated publicly
    • Integrity = ethical and responsible conduct
    • Teaching and Learning Quality, Resources, and Support = provide high quality education, wherever and however delivered
    • Teaching and Learning Evaluation and Improvement = demonstrate responsibility for quality educational programs, evaluation of learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement
    • Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness = processes are sufficient to fulfill it’s mission
  • Distance Education – Regular and substantive interaction between students and the instructor, either synchronously or asynchronously (not primarily initiated by the student) – this is being updated by negotiated rulemaking
  • Distance-delivered courses – 75% of instruction and interaction occurs via electronic communication when faculty and students are separated physically from each other
  • Distance-delivered programs – 50% of more of the required courses may be taken as distance-delivered courses


  • Faculty certification process
  • Faculty oversight, policies, procedures
  • Integrated mission, strategic plan with distance education
  • Process for developing and approving and evaluating new online courses
  • Required orientation for students

Opportunities for Growth

  • Re-certification
  • Ongoing course evaluation
  • Reporting, analytics, predictive early alerts
  • Student support services
  • Exam proctoring services

Student Identity – HEOA

  • The same student that enrolls, is the same student that participates? Login and password is what most institutions are doing. Some moving to proctored exams.
  • Examples: systems to monitor repetition of IP and email addresses, student identity verification protocols.
  • Costs – If there is an extra cost for students around identity, students must be informed at the time of registration.

Questions to Ask

  • How does interactions (substantive and regular) compare in the syllabus of an online and a traditional course?

Board Meeting at Center Lake

IMG_2994 copy

Eric Kunnen, elected President of ETOM with the passing of the hat and bell…IMG_2995.JPG

C-RAC Distance Education Guidelines

  • Online learning is appropriate to the institution’s mission and purpose.
    • Sample Evidence: Distance ed is mentioned in mission and/or goals, institutional goals are mentioned in distance documents, distance ed fits within the mission.
  • The institution’s plans for developing, sustaining and, if appropriate, expanding online learning offerings are integrated into its regular planning and evaluation processes.
    • Sample Evidence: Needs analysis reports, documented plans for maintaining or expanding online learning (eg. strategic plans), institutional budget documents and technology plans explicitly include distance education, offices and administrators are involved in planning/evaluation.
  • Online learning is incorporated into the institution’s¬†systems of governance and academic oversight.
    • Sample Evidence: Online program and course evaluations, documented approved processes for distance education (same as traditional), committee meeting notes outlining faculty roles in approval, design, and implementation of distance education, policies/processes outline the assurance of academic rigor
  • Curricula for the institution’s online learning offerings are coherent, cohesive, and comparable in academic rigor to programs offered in traditional instructional formats.
    • Sample Evidence: Program descriptions and course syllabi, enrollment cap policies, benchmark online curricula with f2f programs and courses, interaction between students and faculty facilitated within the LMS and evidence to show it occurs
  • The institution evaluates the effectiveness of it’s online offerings, including the extent to which the online learning goals are achieved, and uses the results of evaluations to enhance the attainment of goals.
    • Sample Evidence: Program reviews for online courses/programs, accreditation documents, yearly reports, graduation/retention rate plans and reports, assessment office reports.
  • Faculty responsible for delivering the online learning curricula and evaluating the students’ success in achieving the online learning goals are appropriately qualified and effectively supported.
    • Sample Evidence: Personal data and vitas for all faculty paired with programs, faculty training and evaluation, faculty and program handbooks, list of technical and pedagogical training provided with dates and attendance/completion data, faculty evaluation data.
  • The institution provides effective¬†student and academic services to support students enrolled in online learning offerings.
    • Sample Evidence: Technical support hours listed/accessible on the web, readiness quiz and orientation for online students, websites for online access to financial aid, registration, library resources, tutoring, career counseling, etc., student complaint process clearly defined on syllabi, marketing material and websites.
  • The institution provides sufficient resources to support and if appropriate expand it’s online learning offerings.
    • Sample Evidence: Budget trends and projections for distance education, multi-year budget lines showing ongoing funding for resources supporting online learning, scalable technology plans that specifically address online learning, strategic plan for distance education with action items and budget projections.
  • The institution assures the integrity of its online learning offerings.
    • Sample Evidence: Institutional policies on academic integrity explicitly referencing online learning, academic integrity is part of online student orientation, faculty training on academic integrity and pedagogical ways to reduce cheating, academic integrity is addressed in syllabi, student verification and authentication.

Michigan Colleges Online Report

  • MCO – Celebrating 20 Years!
  • Goals to support colleges, share costs and resources, network, provide professional development opportunities and more…
  • The mission of Michigan Colleges Online is “to connect the teaching and student support capacity of Michigan community colleges so learners can access affordable, high quality learning experiences whenever and wherever needed.”
  • In the first year, 47 courses were offered by 12 colleges beginning in the summer 2019.
  • MCCVLC developed Online Course Quality Guidelines and Rubric… this gave birth to Quality Matters in 2000.
  • In 2002, MCCVLC was awarded a FIPSE grant to build orientation resources.
  • Current work includes an MCO OER Initiative – Improving student success and completion, lower costs, increasing cross institution faculty collaboration. oercommons.org/hubs/mco
  • Students have saved over $14 million dollars since the OER initiative began across the community colleges!IMG_3003.jpg
  • Faculty conversations have begun in the following courses: public speaking, abnormal psychology, calculus I & II, physics, sociology, social work.
  • Save the date for October 18, 2019 MI OER SUMMIT hosted by Delta College, University Center, Michigan. Jess Mitchell will be the presenter talking about inclusive design.
  • MCO Accessibility Community of Practice – Share knowledge and review best practices, convene monthly. Monthly meet up on a variety of topics: LMS accessibility, Blackboard Ally, Math course accessibility, REV, ReadSpeaker, etc.
  • MCO Collaborative Programs – MRI, CT, EEG technician certificate programs.
  • MCO Collaborate Purchases
    • Pisces Online Collaboration Platform used for online tutoring, advising, office hours, counseling, etc.
    • Packback is offering a research study opportunity to increase student engagement, grades, and course completion through the support of Packback platform.
    • Additional tools and solutions are available such as: NetTutor, BlackBelt Help, Fit Faculty, …
  • MCO Professional Development – OER, Blue by Explorance, OER 4 Sale!, Advisors Guide to MCO, Using AI supported technology in Online Courses, PISCES, AWS, and more!

SAVE THE DATE – The ETOM Fall Conference will be held
at Grand Valley State University on November 8!

#ELI2019 – Improving Student Success Analytics with Multiple Data Sources

Improving Student Success Analytics with Multiple Data Sources – Conference Session Link

Session Description:

Increasingly, institutions are building learner record stores to more fully describe student interaction with educational technologies. However, little research has assessed how much these increases in data actually move the needle in predicting student achievement. To find out, Blackboard, VitalSource, and UMBC partnered on a research project to explore both vendors’ Caliper and LTI-enabled tools to mine UMBC students’ use of an LMS and e-textbooks. Among other things, we found the combined model was very accurate in predicting C or better final grades by week 4 of the semester. We will also discuss how these findings support other ongoing research.


    • Combine UMBC learner data from Blackboard and VitalSource to predict student outcomes with greater accuracy, earlier in the semester
    • Identify behavioral and demographic factors most predictive of student success
    • How does faculty adoption/integration of EdTech or overall course design, affect those relationships?
    • Understand the effectiveness of IMS Caliper as data protocol to answer student success research questions

“If your data isn’t actionable, what’s the point?” – John Fritz

  • Combine Blackboard, VitalSource, and SIS Data with IMS Caliper.
  • At week 4, evaluate relationships between activity and course grade.
  • Data: 986 total students in 5 subjects/7 sections, Fall 2017 term
  • On using data… getting the right message to the right students at the right time. – John Fritz
  • Students who didn’t take the syllabus quiz were 4 times more likely to earn DFW.
    • Encourage faculty to require and use adaptive release for a syllabus quiz.
  • Students who register late (under 40 days) are much more likely not to persist.
  • Students that use math tutoring reduce their changes of failing between 10 and 20%.
  • Presentation: umbc.box.com/eli19

#ELI2019 – Presentation Pair: Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning

Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning – Conference Session Listing

University of Cincinnati – Engaging Faculty in the Creation of Accessible Course Content

  • Blackboard Ally was introduced to create awareness and make course content more accessible.
  • OCR agreement resulted in creating the Accessibility Network at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Blackboard Ally provides checking of content uploaded into courses and displays an accessibility indicator to faculty. Ally provides on screen guidance also to faculty. An institutional dashboard enables views across the entire campus.
  • Training is provided to faculty in using Ally and in creating more accessible files.
  • Challenges include time, skills, and resources (and faculty attitude) in ensuring content is accessible in courses.
  • Faculty can feel overwhelmed if most of their course is inaccessible.
  • “Making progress not perfection” has been helpful. Start small, one file at a time.
  • Goal is to create documents from-the-start that are accessible. For example, using headings in Word, alt text, table headings… etc.
  • MS Word documents have been found to be more accessible than PDFs.
  • UC is working on centralized remediation of files using student assistants.

North Carolina State University

  • Beyond Captions – Making Online Learning Truly Accessible to Deaf Students
  • Captions are helpful, but we can do more…
  • ASL is the first language for deaf learners. Average captions are at a 9th grade level.
  • English literacy is a challenge for ASL learners because it’s a spoken language.

  • Level 1: LMSProvided by vendors primarily. Web accessibility guidelines come into play.
  • Level 2: Course Materials – Provided by instructors. Videos with captions, transcripts, creating accessible documents, etc. Typography is also important. Don’t use ALL CAPS. Readability is important. User control and navigation.
  • Level 3: Communication and Language – Accessing information include assignment directions, emails to students, announcements, orientation to course. Background, context, pointing things out in text to draw attention. Pay attention to reading level and vocabulary, especially for ASL learners. Graphic organizers can be helpful for ASL and all students (UDL).

#ELI2019 – Use Them or Lose Them: Digital Devices for Student Engagement

Use Them or Lose Them: Digital Devices for Student Engagement – Conference Session Link

#ELI2019 – App Smackdown! A Battle Royal of Education Technology

App Smackdown! A Battle Royal of Education Technology – Conference Session Link

App 1 – Thinglink

  • Using hotspots you can build unique experiences with interactive images, videos, and 360 media

App 2 – VoiceThread

  • Collaborative discussions with voice, video, and text.

App 3 – Adobe Spark

  • Visual stories

App 4 – PlayPosit

  • Interactive video with quizzing

Slido (Q&A platform for voting/polling) for voting for the winner!





#ELI2019 – Presentation Pair: Learning Horizons

Presentation Pair: Learning Horizons – Conference Session Link

Authoring Instructional Activities for Mixed Reality: A Medical School’s Journey
Content presentation, interaction and assessment used to be limited to paper and face to face. Then television, computers, and eventually the internet expanded the palette to include a two-dimensional digital learning environment. Now the advent of head-mounted devices is expanding the opportunities to a whole new level. This session will discuss how at UCF College of Medicine, we’re beginning to author learning activities with mixed reality headsets to present difficult or complex concepts to our students in this emerging 3D learning environment. UCF has been piloting the use of Microsoft HoloLens AR apps in the College of Medicine. One example is a visualization of the heart, and the other is a AR experience to augment and support students’ learning how to suture wounds.

A Higher Ed VR Classroom: An Enhanced Reality for Teaching

Session Description: Immersive virtual reality, experienced by wearing a stereoscopic space-tracked headset, provides a strong sense of being in an actual location. This sense of “presence” is ideal for teaching, allowing us to furnish a virtual space with interactive elements that are both intuitive and dynamic, going beyond what is possible in a physical classroom or instructional lab setting. We will outline our UX-based design methodology, experiences, and outcomes for a new virtual classroom environment. This VR-based collaborative space has strong potential to scale up and impact instruction in higher education through the creation of small, customizable virtual classrooms. 

  • Creating a VR Classroom – Caltech is working to create a virtual reality classroom experience whereby, students and faculty can learn inside of a VR space. It appears somewhat like a “Secondlife” idea of creating a virtual space to meet and to conduct “class”. An interface was custom developed with students having a desk space with a note space, interactive “desk” buttons to communicate back to the instructor. A pilot was run with 3 students and 1 live instructor.
    • Benefits: Can experience learning in ways no possible in real life, access labs/classrooms from anywhere at any time, experience 3D phenomena at any scale.
    • Next Steps: Building more “physical like” appearances of students so that faculty can better judge learning experiences of students and to increase number of simultaneous attendees.

#ELI2019 – How Higher Ed Can Cultivate Students to Lead the Future We Want to Live In

How Higher Ed Can Cultivate Students to Lead the Future We Want to Live In – Conference Session Listing

Looking Back – Looking Forward

Where have we been?

  • In 2008: iPhone was released 500 apps in Apple App Store (now 3 Billion apps) and popular was Netflix DVDs, Microsoft bid to purchase Yahoo, SecondLife, YouTube, etc. No Uber, no drone operators, no social media influencers, etc.

Where are we headed? and What’s driving change?

  • Since 2008 now 12 million jobs require a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • By 2030 nearly half of US jobs are at risk of elimination replaced by automation.
  • Computing jobs are #1 source of new wages in the US.

Understanding our Future

  • Creative and Divergent Thinking
    • Critical Thinking
    • Entrepreneurship Mindset
    • Design
    • Learn from Failures – Iterate on Better Solutions
  • Robots and AI can’t replace. Creativity, ethics, emotional connections, imagine, invention, theories, perceived reality can only be done by humans.
  • Data and Digital Literacy
    • Data we create, read, shop, appliances, “smart-everything”.
    • Data literacy is about understanding what is reliable and accurate information. To see patterns. Understanding where we need human insight vs AI.
    • When to use tech and when not to use. Working toward an equitable future.
  • Social and Cultural Fluency
    • Work in Teams, Global, Access, Competency, Change, Honesty, Trust

What is our Role? What are we doing?